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Comics Today's Date:

Clive Barker's Hellraiser:
"At the Tolling of a Bell"

It's been years since Pinhead and the Cenobites graced the comics page. Perhaps more surprisingly, it's been decades since their creator, Clive Barker, has worked with the characters directly.

So it was pretty exciting when Boom! Studios announced that Barker was returning to comics and to his most famous creations to boot. Today, Wednesday March 23rd, that hellish cube opens up again in comics shops all across the country.

But that's not why you're here. Oh, no, you want to play, don't you?

Boom! has been gracious enough to offer Fanboy Planet a little something extra today to celebrate the return of Hellraiser. We've got an eight-page prelude to the ongoing series in PDF form for you to download.

That's right: a prelude, not a preview. This short story by Barker himself with Christopher Monfette and art by Leonardo Manco will not be reprinted until the trade paperback. Be warned: it is graphic in its depiction of flaying, and is suggested for mature readers.

Now I've probably really whetted your appetite. The story involves Pinhead, a Death Row inmate and a Priest. It's not the set-up to a joke, but it does set up the central conflicts between Heaven and Hell, and the tremendous grey area in between where Barker's work tends to take place.

"At the Tolling of a Bell" does what Barker did to make his name in the first place -- deliver a short sharp shock that will stick with you for a while, ably abetted by Manco, an artist perfectly suited to Barker's vision.

Download the PDF here, then get to a comics shop today and pick up Hellraiser #1.

Derek McCaw


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